Lauren Michelle Bjelde has always loved music.
As a girl growing up in Modesto, Calif., “I would sing myself to sleep every night,” she said.
But it wasn’t until she was a young woman that she discovered her sound. She got a record player and her first Billie Holiday album.
“I really found my voice singing with her in my first few years of college,” Bjelde told the Herald.
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That voice now is on display with Royal Jelly Jive, the Bjelde-fronted hard-swinging soul jive band that’s coming to Kennewick this weekend.
The band plays The Roxy Bar and concert venue April 11.
Bjelde said to expect a high-energy performance.
She shares song-writing duties with Jesse Lemme Adams, who also grew up in California.
He took piano lessons for years and tried out the accordion during a battle of the bands competition in high school. It was a perfect fit.
Kind of like when the San Francisco-based Royal Jelly Jive got together 1 1/2 to two years ago.
“A lot of us played music together in different groups,” but clicked when they all found each other, Bjelde said. Along with Bjelde and Adams, Royal Jelly Jive includes drummer Felix Macnee, trumpeter Danny Cao, Tyden Binsted on upright bass and Robby Elfman on clarinet and saxophone.
The group is on its first Northwest tour. Bjelde and Adams spoke to the Herald by phone while in Seattle. Their next stop was Leavenworth, with shows scheduled in Portland and California after the Kennewick gig. “This has been a great tour so far, and it’s going to be a great weekend” in the Tri-Cities, Adams said.
Royal Jelly Jive gets its name from the substance worker honeybees produce and feed to larvae.
“When they designate a queen bee, she’s doused in royal jelly. She’s bathed in it,” Bjelde said.
And when the singer is on stage singing with her band, “I feel like I’m flying like a queen bee,” she said.
The show at The Roxy Bar costs $5, with tickets available online and at the door. The band will go on about 9 p.m.
Adams said people who come should expect to get on their feet. The music is infectious, he said.
“It’s very easy to get people dancing and moving. And Lauren has this awesome stage energy, presence — she’s kind of like a Janis Joplin of our generation,” he said. “The show is full on, full energy — everybody can feel it in the room.”
Bjelde said she and Adams also try to dig deep with their songwriting, creating tunes that touch as well as entertain.
She’s always looked for a way to reach people and connect, and “what we realized is that the ear is the easiest way to the heart,” she said.
“People really respond to music,” Bjelde said. “It’s just really special to us to get to share this with everybody.”
Advance tickets are available at www.roxybarkennewick.com. The Roxy Bar and concert venue is upstairs at 101 W. Kennewick Ave., Suite 201.
For more on Royal Jelly Jive, go to www.royaljellyjive.com.